Students Are Excited to Be Back in School

Krystal LaMantia
With school back in session since August, students, staff, and faculty are thrilled to return to a sense of normalcy, arriving on campus for in-person instruction among a variety of health and safety procedures implemented into their daily routine.
“High school can be a tough time for kids...especially in today's society and with all the things they are exposed to.” said Mr. and Mrs. Hansen, St. Francis High School parents. “The culture at St. Francis and the support the kids receive both from their friends and the staff make even the tougher times easier to handle. As an example, during the COVID pandemic, our kids truly missed being at the school every day and couldn't wait to get back to in-person classes with their peers and teachers. We think this is the ultimate testament to what St. Francis has built.”
The school reopened in a hybrid setting, allowing for the unique learning experience only found at St. Francis High School.
From President Dr. Betsy Ackerson and Principal Raeann Huhn, “We have created an environment that allows students to flourish while keeping everything as safe as possible as we face an unknown future. Our plans to reopen for the 2020-2021 school year are guided by our strong collective desire to return to campus, informed by the school’s deepest educational values, and commitment to preserving the SFHS experience.”
At its core, the St. Francis High School experience is defined and shaped by human interaction. The school’s long­standing commitment to education of the whole person in mind, body, and spirit comes to life through an experience that integrates spiritual, academic, athletic, artistic, and other co-curricular offerings. St. Francis High School remains dedicated to providing that experience even when daily school life on campus is disrupted by external events.
St. Francis High School believes that in-person instruction is the best and preferred educational delivery setting to most effectively fulfill their mission. Significant safety protocols have been imple­mented for the well-being and safety of faculty, staff, and students. These protocols follow guidelines issued by the Illinois State Board of Education, the Diocese of Joliet, and the Illinois Department of Public Health.
“It’s really nice to be back because it is a lot easier to learn in person and interacting with peers is so beneficial on so many levels.” said Mary-Faith Murray ’21, St. Francis High School student. “I’m grateful to be able to bounce ideas off of my classmates, as you learn so much from other students in addition to the teachers. Learning in person is more enjoyable versus just being on the screen all day, every day.”
The Hybrid School Setting, in which St. Francis High School is currently operating, utilizes a combination of both traditional and non‐traditional (E-Learn­ing) school settings. It allows a variety of configurations including different rates of occupan­cy and synchronous and asynchronous learning. During a five-day week, students are divided into two cohorts and attend a full day of in-person instruction twice a week. On the other two days, the out-of-school cohort follows instruction provided by their teachers for either synchronous or asynchronous learning. During a five-day week, each Wednesday the entire student body participates in full synchronous 8-period E-Learning Spartan Day, providing a stronger level of preparedness in the event of a school campus closure and an additional opportunity for campus cleaning.
As a college preparatory and Microsoft Showcase School, the academic rigor at St. Francis High School allows students to refine, hone, and develop their study habits. Both in-person instruction and e-learning platform at St. Francis High School is preparing students for a smooth transition between high school and college.

St. Francis High School